Apple iPad mania is in full swing, and I thought I’d do my part to contribute to it with a note on video support for the tablet. Several companies have come out this week announcing their ability to deliver video to the iPad including Brightcove, Ooyala, Comcast’s thePlatform, Limelight Networks, and Kyte. But what does that mean? Without Flash on the iPad, the general focus is on HTML5 for video delivery, and these companies are offering publishers ways to automate the creation of HTML5 files.
But even using HTML5 for video only deals with the issue of viewing content in a browser window. So what about stuff you see outside the browser? Like video in a widget?
I should mention at this point that I’m not a disinterested observer here. I do a lot of work now for Limelight Networks, which is heavily promoting its ability to support video delivery to the iPad no matter how that video is viewed. However, as a consumer, the more important point is what video I’ll actually be able to see when I get around to picking up my own Apple tablet. (Not immediately, but soon…) A lot of fun stuff (ahem, Hulu, ahem) will not be available, at least not immediately, though we just heard from Dave that enhanced Slingbox support is on the way. Some video from vendors using the likes of Brightcove, Limelight Networks, etc., will be. Video in non-browser applications may be scarce in the early days.
So is the Apple iPad a video viewing machine? It will be, but beyond the iTunes walled garden and bundled YouTube app it’s going to be limited at launch.